Vimeo Video on Plastics and Microplastic Pollution Around Us

by Duane Nichols on April 27, 2021

Plastic pollution of micron size has spread throughout our lives

Subject: Manada Conservancy presents The Perils of Plastic on Vimeo

From a Video Presentation by Dr. Sherri Mason, Penn State — Erie Campus, March 1, 2021

Plastic pollution in the world’s oceans has been publicized widely; we’ve heard about the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” Lesser known is the prevalence of microplastics in freshwater systems, which are conduits from land to the sea.

Dr. Sherri Mason, cutting-edge plastic pollution researcher and Sustainability Coordinator at Penn State Erie, will present an overview of what plastic is, its proliferation in our society, and its emergence as one of the most prominent environmental pollutants.

Dr. Sherri A. Mason completed her doctorate in Chemistry at the University of Montana as a NASA Earth System Science scholar. Her research group is among the first to study the prevalence and impact of plastic pollution within freshwater ecosystems. Among her many accolades Dr. Mason earned the Heinz Award in Public Policy in 2018.


See also: Microplastics: An emerging threat to the Chesapeake Bay, David Alan, VRBO News Now, April 8, 2021

“You can see everything from water bottles to plastic bags,” said Chris Moore with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. We found a sneaker, dozens of construction hard hats, even a traffic drum. Every bit of trash we saw as we walked the shoreline was the ugly side of our reliance on plastics. The bigger problem is some of these larger plastic objects will break down here in the hot sun. Some of the trash will end up back in the bay to be torn apart by tides, forming microplastics.

The tiny specks of plastic — some invisible to the naked eye — pose a significant risk to a host of juvenile finfish found in the Chesapeake Bay. There are concerns that oysters and clams may be trying to filter microplastics and cannot. Microplastic contamination is not just a concern for the environment. A 2016 study showed the commercial seafood industry in Virginia and Maryland contributed $1.4 billion in sales and 30,000 jobs to the local economy.

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